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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

Representing the 7th District of Washington

Jayapal Statement in Response to Commerce Department Move to Add Citizenship Question in 2020 Census

March 29, 2018
Press Release

SEATTLE – Today, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal released the following statement in response to the Department of Commerce move to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census.

“The Trump administration’s latest move will not only hurt open participation in the census, but also disproportionately impact immigrant communities. People are less likely to respond to the census out of fear of deportations, of putting their families at risk, of ‘outing’ themselves or their loved ones. The fear that remains even among legal immigrants. Additionally, it would discourage the more than 16 million people who live in mixed status families from participating in the census. If large swaths of people stop participating in the census, it will jeopardize the accuracy of our census, and impact everything from how we draw up congressional districts to allocation of $700 billion in federal funds.

“The census has been an American institution for two centuries, and it depends entirely on the people’s willingness to participate openly and honestly. Today’s decision by the Trump administration to include a question about citizenship threatens that open participation.

“Instead of creating barriers that limit participation in the census, we should be breaking them down to ensure that every single person is counted, regardless of their nationality. Congress must take steps to immediately reverse this move, and blunt its impact.”